In Defense of DK Bose

24 June 2011

I confess - I enjoy singing the DK Bose refrain. Alas, the prudish world out there is causing me much heartache with the crooner's conundrum I'm currently facing. I cannot sing the Bhaag Bhaag DK Bose line without attracting disbelief and mental judgements of uncouthness by people around me.  But why is there such a hue and cry about clever placement of lyrics into what is a tongue-in-cheek reference to how much we, as a culture, love our cuss words?

We all know that colourful language, when used at the right time and in the right instance, can have the desired effect that polite Ps and Qs usually don't. And when the said colourful language is Indian, all the more reason to celebrate its colourfulness, considering we're all about varied ethnicities, languages, preferences and religious leanings. Osho Rajneesh has ably demonstrated the insta-appeal and the sheer versatility of the 'F' word in everyday conversation, so why are we getting our inner garments all twisted over a song that only when hummed along to, can sound like something that is a much-used expletive in common parlance, when we don't even raise an eyebrow about how Munni goes badnaam and becomes Zandu balm for her balma?

God, I hate our hypocrisy.

How come nobody thought of screaming from the rooftops when the heartbroken chap sang 'Bol bol why did you ditch me, whore?' in Emotional Atyachar? Anurag Kashyap is known to push the boundaries and to not care two hoots about being publicly maligned for his choice of dialogues or lyrics. When Langda Tyagi shot straight from the hip and minced no words in Omkara, how come the movie-going world rejoiced and slyly cackled at what the censor board gave the green signal to? If there's anyone in Bollywood today who can make a cuss word sound poetic, it's Vishal Bhardwaj. Remember Kaminey? But if these are acceptable, why is DK Bose inviting so much wrath?

Some reports suggest that the original refrain of DK Bose was 'Run DK Bose'. They brought the crass factor down a bit by substituting it with 'Bhaag'. Each song is a twisted paean to one genre of music - Switty, Switty is such a brilliant comment on all the Punjabi mundas the other side of the Thames. Penchar (haha!) is a fantastic tribute to our kacheris and sammelans. Jaa Chudail is in another league altogether. And now, Aamir is all set to become the first item boy of Bollywood. But instead of celebrating our breaking out of the shackles imposed by all those Dils and Mohabbats and Dards in our songs, we're throwing shank eyes at what could well be the most versatile soundtrack of the year.

If using expletives in conversation is a good way of de-stressing, why not in song? All the more reason, one would think. A DK Bose in song is worth 2 in dialogues, no?

Bring it on, beastly boys!

Recommended read: On how Bollywood seems to be finally coming of age - The Guardian.

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